Source: University of Limerick Press Office – 18th December 2013
The University of Limerick recently licensed a break-through fluid dispensing technology to the University Spin-Out company PolyPico Technologies Ltd. The fluid dispensing technology is capable of dispensing minute quantities of fluid in the nano liter (10^-9) and pico liter (10^-12) volume ranges.
Dr. Gabriel Leen, co-inventor, explains: “To help put these tiny volumes into context, for example, from a single tea spoon volume of fluid, the technology can generate over 100million individual droplets of fluid. Applications where this level of accuracy and miniaturization have significant advantages include: the production of biomedical diagnostic devices; drug discovery; the production of protein/antibody/DNA based devices, including DNA testing; dispensing of living cells for research applications which study the behavior of cells; depositing of nano materials; micro electronics; and applications involving the precise dispensing of adhesives, lubricants and coatings“.
Technologies exist which are capable of dispensing at these low volumes ranges, however no other technology uses disposable fluid cartridges to do so. PolyPico uses disposable fluid cartridges which completely avoid any risks associated with cross-contamination. The avoidance of cross-contamination is a key benefit of the technology when handling for example biological samples from different patients. Furthermore, the technology outperforms most of the other technologies operating in this low volume range, in terms of both ease of use and cost.
The patent pending technology has already undergone significant evaluation testing at laboratories both in Ireland and in other European locations. The potential market for this technology is significant and the applications for which this technology is suitable are continually expanding.
Co- inventor Bernard Bryce said; “This platform technology represents a significant advance in the manipulation of minute quantities of fluids. This is a new technology to dispense a wide range of bio-materials, and non-bio-materials. Poly Pico uses inexpensive disposable fluid cartridges and completely avoids the risks associated with the potential cross-contamination of materials”.
Company CEO, Alan Crean, Poly Pico Technologies Ltd. said; “We are both fortunate and delighted to be able to spin-out a start-up company based on the University of Limerick’s research. The technology developed has amazing capability and a sizable export market potential. The technology facilitates the effective and efficient handling of bio-materials, and non-bio-materials, reducing the volumes of material required and empowering researchers, and industry, to develop more cost effective methods and devices. This is another example of successful translational research where research outcomes are creating a tangible benefit for the Irish economy through creating jobs, R&D expertise and export opportunities. The young spin-out company has ambitious plans for rapid growth and plans to employ more than 10 full time staff by 2015. Currently the company employs 2 full time, and 2 part time, staff and are engaging several Irish-based sub-contractors”.
Paul Dillon, Director of Technology Transfer at the University of Limerick, said; “it is great to see another Spin-Out company from the University of Limerick prospering. PolyPico is an example of what is possible when a group of committed researchers commercialise their research. It is great to see the transition from the research lab to the marketplace”.
The fluid dispensing technology was developed at the Circuits & Systems Research Centre University of Limerick by a research team consisting of Mr. Bernard Bryce and Dr. Gabriel Leen. Dr. Gabriel Leen is affiliated with both the Circuits & Systems Research Centre and the Optical Fibre Sensor Research Centre, at the University of Limerick. This research has been supported by Enterprise Ireland. For further information go to www.polypico.com
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